Head of Chemical Biology STP

Key information

Job reference
Competitive with benefits, subject to skills and experience.
Application close date
04 October 2021, 23:00 BST
Posted 24 August 2021

This is a full-time and permanent position on Crick terms and conditions of employment.


As part of developing world-class facilities, the Crick is looking to recruit a Head of Chemical Biology with an international reputation to lead and manage a world-leading Chemical Biology Science Technology Platform (STP). The Head of the STP will support research at the Francis Crick Institute by leading a multidisciplinary technology platform which, in collaboration with Crick research groups, develops novel molecular tools to gain new biological insights into cellular processes that cause diseases, and to pharmacologically validate potential clinically relevant targets.

The STP will work at the interface of chemistry and biology. It will take an integrative approach that combines chemical biology expertise with medicinal chemistry, peptide chemistry, computational screening, and a strong collaboration with Structural Biology, Metabolomics, Proteomics and High Throughput Screening facilities. This enables research groups to access the best high quality chemical tools for interrogating biological systems

The successful candidate will support a large and dynamic group of Crick researchers in terms of fostering collaborations and providing scientific and technical support. The post holder will ensure the success and sustained resourcing of the Chemical Biology STP by contributing to high quality publications and societal impacts.

Key responsibilities

These include but are not limited to:

  • Establishing, managing and leading a state-of-the-art Chemical Biology core facility with cutting edge technology and a proactive approach to technology development.
  • Provision of comprehensive synthetic chemistry capabilities of novel and commercially unavailable small molecules, bioconjugates, and peptides and peptide arrays.
  • Computational screening using ligand-based and structure-based design strategies.
  • Medicinal chemistry optimisation of hits to generate high quality tool compounds
  • Advising on selection, design and synthesis of chemical probes.
  • Providing scientific expertise and leadership in performing and delivering an excellent and timely service to scientific users within the Crick.
  • Developing a long-term strategy for providing world class Chemical Biology capabilities and to establish and supervise collaborative projects with Crick Research Group Leaders.
  • Participating in scientific discussions and brainstorming regarding experimental design, and new technological development and innovation around various research themes requiring chemical biology, thereby ensuring the Chemical Biology Platform remains at the leading edge to support scientific discovery.
  • Providing expertise and training to researchers and research support staff at the Crick and partner organisations.
  • Evaluating new techniques and instrumentation within the chemical biology field and implementing them into the STP when appropriate to maintain a cutting-edge facility.
  • Improving financial planning, compliance, and other administrative aspects of research projects.
  • Collaborate with other Crick researchers on long-range plans for innovative projects.
  • Maintaining continuing professional development as an active member of the scientific community by writing scientific articles, manuscripts, and reports for the research platform, as well as presenting research findings at scientific meetings and/or conferences.

Key experience and competencies

The post holder should embody and demonstrate our core Crick values: bold, imaginative, open, dynamic and collegial, in addition to the following:

Essential qualifications, experience and competencies

  • PhD (or equivalent experience level), in relevant scientific discipline (i.e. chemistry, chemical biology, analytical chemistry) and a strong track record in academic or industrial chemical biology research
  • Extensive experience in research services
  • Broad evidence of excellence and recognition as a facility leader
  • Management experience in leading a facility or equivalent service unit
  • Ability to demonstrate senior management and leadership capability and skills
  • The candidate must demonstrate an open-minded approach to new directions and development in the life sciences
  • Ability to carry out goal-driven technological development projects while maintaining an excellent level of support to institute researchers
  • Excellent communication skills facilitating outreach to STP users and the ability to understand different user needs
  • Extensive experience of delivering output as part of collaborative projects
  • Experience in working with CROs would be an advantage